Leading college group NCG has appointed its first Sustainability and Curriculum Officer to be based at Newcastle College.

The role has been created to ensure all its students have sustainability embedded in their education to increase their future employability prospects.

Against the backdrop of climate summit, COP27, the new role will work across each of the group’s seven colleges supporting the group’s ambitious Strategy Towards 2030 .

Liam Carr steps into the role with over 20 years’ experience in the education sector. Starting his career in education as a science teacher, Liam went on to teach internationally in India before returning to the UK to take up a role at Newcastle Sixth Form College and, most recently, led the access to higher education department at Newcastle College.

Commenting on his appointment, Liam said: “The current climate change targets set by the government mean that when it comes to sustainability, the workforce must begin to adapt to be fit for the future. It is our job as educators to support this transition for the next generation of the working world. A key part of NCG’s strategy to 2030 is ensuring positive destinations for our students and I believe skills and knowledge in sustainability will become essential to employment.

“My role will focus on giving students exposure to the sustainability sector and sustainable practices, not just in traditional courses that you might initially think like those taught in our Energy Academy, but across the curriculum spectrum. This is a global matter and all jobs will have an element of sustainability in the future, so it’s essential all our qualifications and college culture demonstrate that.

“I believe that sustainability will keep gaining traction within education and I would love to see it recognised alongside English and maths as a subject by Ofsted. The importance of sustainability is now coming to light, and I’m glad I get to play a part in hopefully changing that narrative.”

Tony Lewin, Executive Principal and Executive Lead for Sustainability at NCG, said: “This is a really important role for NCG, both as part of our environmental commitments and our role in preparing our students for the working world of the future. With the appointment of Liam, he is on hand to support our members of staff to feel confident to encourage conversation around sustainability through everyday language, raising awareness among our students. The net zero strategy set out by the government puts the emphasis on skills as being key to meeting its ambitious targets and growing the green economy. By aligning our curriculum, we can ensure that our students leave our colleges with those highly employable skills that will be essential to the economy and the environment, and this new role will drive that intention.”